NHS app pinged more than 500,000 people in a week

A total of 520,194 alerts were sent to people who had the NHS Test and Trace app in the week to July 7 as concerns grow over the number of people being told to self-isolate.

Alerts for self-isolation

Over 520 000 alerts were sent to users of the National Health Service’s COVID-19 tracking app in a week informing them to self-isolate as they had been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

This figure is 46% higher than recorded in the previous week of July 07—the highest weekly figure since data was first published in January.

NHS app being deleted

It comes at a time when a recent poll shows that many adults have either deleted or plan to delete the app before July 19 when almost all restrictions would be lifted.

The survey for Savanta ComRes reveals that the highest proportion of people deleting the app are young adults.

This poll highlights concerns that as coronavirus cases rise, hundreds of thousands of people are being pinged even after coming into contact with an infected person only briefly.

Chris Hopkins, political research director at Savanta ComRes said the survey showed that:

...attempts to contain the virus without restrictions are likely to be very difficult. On this evidence, the government can continue to blame the public if, as some expect, cases, hospitalisations, and deaths from coronavirus rise in the latter half of the summer, rather than the government’s own decision to remove restrictions.

Professor Henry Potts from University College London, a specialist in the use of technology in healthcare and an advisor in the government, said:

We know both that the number of people downloading the NHS Covid-19 app was never as high as desired and that some people who downloaded it have already deleted it.
What will happen is that the more they see Covid as less of an issue, then the more likely they will be to stop using the app.
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